Basketball: Arizona State scouting report

TIPOFF: 2 p.m. Saturday at Haas Pavilion in Berkeley. TV: CSNCA. Radio: 910-AM.


A good story on Jorge Gutierrez by Doug Haller of the Arizona Republic.


Arizona is not as good a team as Missouri or UNLV, two clubs that had their way with the Bears outside the Pac-12. But in terms of style and personnel, the Wildcats presented many of the same problems Cal had with the Tigers and Rebels.

They were physical, aggressive and quick. And because they are not particularly big, they created matchups that were difficult for the Bears to handle in Cal’s 78-74 loss Thursday night.

Seniors Jorge Gutierrez and Harper Kamp handled the Arizona aggression, and gave as much as they took. They combined to shoot 16 for 30 and scored 40 points to go with 15 rebounds.

Their teammates weren’t as good — shooting a combined 13 for 35 and totaling 34 points.

Saturday’s matinee vs. battered Arizona State won’t provide the same kind of test, but there is ample evidence that suggests the Bears may be fortunate not to have a rematch at Arizona (or Missouri or UNLV, for that matter).

Allen Crabbe, as good as he is, has had some trouble against this type of opponent. His 35.7-percent 3-point shooting vs. Mizzou, Vegas and Arizona isn’t the issue so much as the fact that he only attempted 14 3-pointers in those three games.

Quick defenders went hard at him behind the 3-point arc, forcing Crabbe to put the ball on the floor. He is trying to be more aggressive, but it’s not second nature or entirely comfortable yet. In those same three games, is shot 4 for 19 from inside the 3-point arc.

I’m not trying to pick on Crabbe. He is very good, is only a sophomore and is working on the areas of his game that need attention. But when his perimeter shot is going in, Crabbe stretches the defense and makes the rest of the Cal offense function more efficiently.

As a team, Cal shot a combined 8 for 32 from the 3-point arc vs. Missouri, UNLV and Arizona.

Others also struggled against the Cats. Freshman forward David Kravish faced a very awkward matchup vs. Jesse Perry, who is older, stronger and more comforable operating away from the basket. And backup point guard Brandon Smith played what I’m guessing he would call his worst game of the season: zero points, one assist, three fouls and five turnovers in 10 minutes.

ABOUT THE SUN DEVILS:  No team has had more woes at point guard than Arizona State. Would-be starter Jahii Carson, an elite recruit, never became academically eligible to play this season. Keala King was moved from shooting guard to handle the job, but was booted from the team last month. Trent Lockett, a natural wing, got the next shot and did his best until felled by an ankle sprain. He has missed the past five games,during which ASU is 1-4 and averaged 48.8 points in the losses. Lockett will sit out again vs. Cal, according to an ASU sp0kesman.

Junior Chris Colvin has run the point the past five games, totaling 20 assists and 22 turnovers. ASU is last in the Pac-12 at 16.2 turnovers per game, and has had just one game in 22 with fewer turnovers than its opponent. Center Jordan Bachynski, a 7-foot-2 sophomore, is coming off a career-high 20 points in the 68-44 loss at Stanford and is averaging 12.5 points the past four games. In 18 games before that, he averaged just 2.8 points.

For all their issues, the Sun Devils are a better team now than a month ago, Cal coach Mike Montgomery believes. “They had distractions and I think the distractions threw them off,” Montgomery said. “It’s really hard for young kids to deal with stuff and they had a couple kids that were distractions, and they eliminated them. I think they’re playing together, they’re enjoying themselves and they’re playing hard.”

THE SERIES: Cal owns a 36-35 all-time edge and has won the past four meetings.

MISCELLANY: Cal junior center Robert Thurman, who could see considerable playing time today against ASU’s two 7-foot post players, is averaging 7.5 points the past four games . . . ASU freshman wing Jonathan Gilling, second on the team with 30 3-point baskets, sprained his hand at Stanford and is questionable to face Cal . . . ASU is one of just nine teams out of 338 nationwide without a senior on its roster.


Cal (17-6, 7-3 Pac-12)

Starters Ht Yr Pts Rebs
SF Allen Crabbe 6-6 So. 15.7 6.1
PF Harper Kamp 6-8 Sr. 10.2 5.1
PF David Kravish 6-9 Fr. 5.7 5.2
SG Jorge Gutierrez 6-3 Sr. 14.3 5.4
PG Justin Cobbs 6-2 So. 12.0 4.7*
Key reserves
G Brandon Smith 5-11 Jr. 3.7 2.8*
G Emerson Murray 6-2 So. 1.8 0.7
C Robert Thurman 6-10 Jr. 3.5 1.7


Arizona State (7-15, 3-7 Pac-12)

Starters Ht Yr Pts Rebs
C Jordan Bachynski 7-2 So. 4.7 3.2
PF Carrick Felix 6-6 Jr. 8.3 5.9
SF Jonathan Gilling 6-7 Fr. 5.9 1.9
SG Chanse Creekmur 6-5 So. 4.8 2.4
PG Chris Colvin 6-2 Jr. 6.5 3.3*
Key reserves
F Kyle Cain 6-7 So. 8.3 5.9
C Ruslan Pateev 7-0 Jr. 4.9 3.2
G Trent Lockett 6-4 Jr. 13.9 6.4


Jeff Faraudo

  • joey

    Hopefully the team will get out front early, run up the score and allow the reserves to get a lot of minutes. Maybe Rossi plays?

    I expect the team to be pissed off. The bald ref better not be at this game or there might be some suspensions.

  • Uh Huh!

    Very nice write-up, JF.

    First, about ASU – maybe Sendek can get DJ Foster to run the point and put Keala back and SG. Oh, wait, that pun doesn’t work – you already said King’s been kicked off the team. Ouch! It’s all sadness in Phoenix.

    Okay, so, I think you just gave away the secret to beating Cal. Don’t give Crabbe space to launch his 3’s. I wonder what our win loss record is on games when he shoots less than X (either pts or 3’s, or something like that).

    Further, I am interested in seeing how Kravish does down this final third of the season. Usually freshmen like him will fatigue and fade. That’s an angle to watch for as well.

    I was really happy, enjoyed seeing Kamp have that good game!

    Would the Arizona game have been a blowout (like Mizzou or UNLV, as you compared) had we not shot FT’s so tremendously well, or Zona shot so poorly? Hmmm…. Perhaps we should have considered ourselves lucky to have been so close?

    I do believe Zona targeted Gutierrez and his sometimes excessive competitiveness. I believe they wanted to take him out of the game by inciting him. That’s just speculation. Is there a video clip of the Pasternack incident? People should review the Lavender incident in the first half as well. It’s just a theory. I do think Gut’s 2nd foul, where he chased a ball stupidly after committing a turnover, was a key to the game. They went on their game-breaking run after that, as Gut had to go to the bench. And the 3rd foul with Lavender only made it worse. In this sense, Crabbe wasn’t the key to beating us, removing Gutierrez was. Apparently, Arizona knows this.

    Gutierrez is to be commended for holding his temper this season! Seriously! I know Monty has worked with him on this, and he’s done a great job. How many T’s did he have last year (or before) compared to this year. Someone should look that up.

  • jim crow

    I don’t recall that technicals have ever been a major issue for Jorge. Rather, his aggressiveness at both ends of the court (and I mean aggressiveness, not dirty play at all) has led to early foul trouble. This was no issue his first two years, when he came off the bench and simply changed the game with his impassioned energy and defensive presence. (Remember that he made the first team Pac-10 defensive team in his second year, when he was not ever a starter. Just think about that!) However, last year and this year foul trouble for him is a critical issue.

    He has been much better this year than last, but we have recently seen that he still is prone to early fouls and this really disrupts the team. When Jorge goes to the bench, there is a huge dropoff on the court.

    He knows this, Monty knows this, but that is not the same as Jorge’s mastering the art of playing his aggressive game, and being more judicious in what he tries to do, so that he can stay in the game.

  • unbearable

    “And backup point guard Brandon Smith played what I’m guessing he would call his worst game of the season: zero points, one assist, three fouls and five turnovers in 10 minutes.”

    Sorry to say, Smith has been a liability lately. He’s no match for more highly regarded players. He’s too short and slow, not a good enough shooter to stretch the defense. Why does Monty play this guy and not Murray?

  • I’d rather murray at this point too. Seen enough of b smith, last year must have an anomaly? Too bad cuz he WAS solid last year, saved the season really. This year he is killing us. C’mon brandon, bounce back, we need you! Go Bears!